I started out this morning wanting to use up some last few mushrooms. The broccoli caught my eye and looked like it was starting to wilt so I chopped some of it. I reached for the egg carton thinking omelet when a stray thought began its slow rise from the depths until it was bobbing merrily along the stream, wearing an orange life vest or I would have missed it, probably.
Like the distant echo of a prayer to the FSM, I heard: “ramen”…
And why not? I like noodles.
These beef and veggie dishes are a generic “Chinese” staple for the buffets, and with good reason. Easy to prepare and quite tasty. Nothing special about this recipe. Did a marinade for the thin cut beef steak, some soy sauce, a bit of garlic and ginger, some corn starch, a drizzle of oyster sauce. Decided to add a fair number of Szechuan peppercorns, I’d guess maybe a tablespoon full. I cooked the meat in a nonstick pan and set it aside until I needed it later.
Used wheat noodles for this dish-I like ’em and that’s plenty enough reason. I did have some rice noodles that would have worked just fine, or rice, of course. Went ahead and cooked the noodles, drained them, and set them aside in the boiling pot, covered.
The veggies were broccoli, carrot,and onion. I minced a good amount of garlic and ginger root and started them in some hot oil, then dumped in all the veggies, plus a wee splash of water and covered. Let that go about five minutes then added some beef stock with cornstarch, a bit of dark soy sauce, more oyster sauce, a dash of hoisin sauce, some black vinegar, a touch of rice wine and more stuff I’ll remember later, maybe. Stirred the cooked beef in while the sauce was thickening, the corn starch in the beef marinade helped that along. As the sauce started to thicken I dumped in the drained noodles. Some stirring and lifting with the tongs to coat the noodles and “dinner’s ready, Sweetie Pie”.
This is pretty self explanatory but there may be someone out there who isn’t sure what hoisin sauce is. Here’s the Wikipedia entry. It’s a classic Chinese sauce you may have encountered if you’ve ever eaten Peking Duck. Good for plenty of other dishes, of course. It was tasty on this one! The beef was sliced thin and marinated in minced garlic and soy sauce with a few dried red peppers tossed in for color as much as heat. The onions are those delicious Vidalias.
Trying the wide rice noodles this time. I’m happy with the dish, even Mrs J couldn’t complain that it was too hot. Sniff. Needed some red peppers in there ya ask me. Anyway, the rice noodles need to be boiled before they go in with everything else, I gave them 7 minutes and then drained them. Since I used them right away I didn’t bother to rinse them in cold water.
I marinaded the chicken in some soy sauce and ginger paste and soaked the dried mushrooms in water for a good while before I started this. Get the pan hot before you add the oil. When the oil is hot toss in some minced garlic and ginger and then the chicken and the drained mushrooms. Let them cook a few minutes, the chicken should be getting browned though it need not cook all the way through, it’ll get more time in the pan to finish.
Add the veggies and give them a few minutes to cook, cover the pan if you need to. I also ladled in a few ounces of broth to help cook the broccoli.
Now add the sauce. This is a combination of sauces: Hoisin, soy, and oyster sauces along with some mirin and Chinese cooking wine. I also added some more chicken stock for the volume. It needed thickening so after the sauce came to a boil I stirred in some corn starch in a bit of stock. Stir it all about as the sauce thickens.
I started the water for these noodles in a large pot before I ever warmed the pan the dinner cooked in. I fired that pan when the water came to a boil and waited to put the dry noodles in until it seemed the rest was well on the way. Drain and dump in the noodles when they are done, get them coated with the sauce. No real need to try to combine the noodles and the other stuff, just swish them around in the center. Grab a bunch of the coated noodles with some tongs and plate them, use a spoon to cover them with chicken and the veggies.
Decided to make some noodles in a brown sauce, needed some other stuff in it so I boiled some lobster tails, and then set them aside to cool. I used the lobster water to boil the noodles, gave them about 6-7 minutes at a full boil. Taste them as they cook and remove when they are done enough and cool them under running water. Let them drain well, add a little oil to keep them from sticking.
I also thawed some shrimp, sliced some chicken breast and pork tenderloin, and chopped the cooled lobster meat into chunks. Figured some veggies were in order so I soaked some dried Shiitake mushrooms and some dried red chilies, and sliced some carrots. A few green onions will look good. Mince some garlic.
The brown sauce was made from regular soy sauce (4tbsp), oyster sauce (also 4), dark soy sauce (1), and some hoisin sauce (1). The little specks front and center are Szechuan peppercorns. I haven’t used them before so I was a little leery of how many to go with, should have used more, ditto the red chilies. Not much heat to the dish. I’ll squirt some Sriracha chili sauce in there the next time, along with more chilies and peppercorns.
Ok, heat some oil in a good sized pan, toss in the garlic, the red peppers, and the peppercorns. Next add the chicken and the pork, both items were sliced very thin so they cooked fast. Now the carrots, also sliced thin. And the lobster and the shrimp (both pre-cooked). Dump in the sauce, stir everything around well, add some cornstarch in a slurry to thicken if desired. Dump the noodles atop everything. Use tongs to lift and stir as the noodles come up to heat, and add the green onions.I’ll be doing this one again.